Arrowhead Library System Mini Grant Round-Up Summer 2019

Here’s a round-up of Arrowhead Library System Mini Grants that have been completed in 2019 at Hoyt Lakes Public Library, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School Library, Chisholm Public Library, Hibbing Public Library, and Iron Range Historical Society:

Project: MN Jack Sparrow Program for Summer Reading

Feedback from Sue Sowers, Hoyt Lakes Public Library

MN Jack Sparrow (aka Joshua Godfredson) came to the library in full “Jack Sparrow” costume, pulling a wooden chest with a very thick rope. His mannerisms and speech were very close to Johnny Depp’s character, and he mingled with the kids before the presentation. His presentation included information about pirates and their history, such as Blackbeard is always the name that first comes to mind. But he was a pirate for only three years, and he wasn’t in charge. A Chinese woman ran a 10,000 member pirate crew that he was a part of. He was famous for the fear he inspired among others because he lit his beard on fire (very scary) and let people go free. That spread the word about him faster than text messaging could have. “Jack” also had authentic artifacts like real silver doubloons and a knife still covered with coral, except for the handle. He allowed the kids to hold and study these items. Afterwards, “Jack” stayed for anyone who wanted photographs with him. This was quite popular, even with the adults. This was a Kickoff event to attract kid’s attention to our library and what we have to offer for the summer. Since we rely strictly on donations to run our Summer Reading program, receiving this grant was the reason we were able to book MN Jack Sparrow. The program was held outside, so we had a lot of public exposure. Kids and families we have never seen before attended. Because of the grant, we were able to use other donated funds to purchase prizes for a treasure hunt, and supplies for tattoos and pirate slime. We would highly recommend MN Jack Sparrow. He not only was very knowledgeable about pirates and their history, he was very attentive to the audience and his presentation was interactive. He was generous with his time afterwards to answer questions and pose for pictures. Thank you to Arrowhead Library System for this opportunity!

Project: Honoring the Ojibwe Culture via Art Display

Feedback from Christine Skalko, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School Library 

Honoring the Ojibwe Culture in the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School Library via the STAS Art Display Track System. The STAS track system makes it possible to hang artwork on the curved as well as straight section of walls in the storytelling area of the library.  The STAS track system provides the means to display student paintings of the Ojibwe clans and other works of art in the storytelling area of the FDL Library. The students’ artwork honors the culture, traditions and teachings of the Fond du Lac Ojibwe. It encourages student participation during storytelling by making connections between the clans and a reading of a Native American story. Also, it helps students with self identity.  The STAS track system has allowed the display of high school student artwork of the Ojibwe Clans as well as framed portraits of school staff and community members who have made significant contributions to the Fond du Lac K-12 School.  Among the comments made on how this project benefits students and staff:

  • “Animals were here before us and we still have a relationship with them through our clan system. Paintings of the clans are a gift. They will stimulate imagination and creativity and are a historical connection to the Fond du Lac Community.”
  • “There are three pieces of identity when you introduce yourself: name, clan, and where you are from. The clans give a sense of identity and is part of a Tribal School.”
  • “It helps you notice your clan.”
  • “Paintings of the clans benefits the students as it builds awareness of their culture, how the clans are interconnected and not just generalized.”
  • “Another way of integrating culture into the classroom.”

Project: Storytime & Outreach Materials

Feedback from Debbie Wangensteen, Chisholm Public Library

Our project was to create a storytime/outreach kit that we could use for our many programs geared towards children. We want kids to feel welcome, safe and excited to visit us.  We use the parachute/plastic balls/scarves when we host our local Early Childhood classrooms to our library. We are able to introduce them to our library in a fun and engaging way and create a welcoming atmosphere, which is important when creating lifelong readers. The musical instruments are used for weekly storytimes. The instruments provide bright and cheerful sensory play and are fantastic for the children to experiment with different sounds. The puppets have added to our storytime gatherings. They are a great way to welcome children to the library in an easygoing, friendly manner. The children know that storytime is about to begin when the puppets make their entrance.  We welcome our local Early Childhood Family Education students to our library every fall. We have been told by parents on numerous occasions that they didn’t realize how fun the library was. They have become regular patrons of ours who now enjoy the library with their young children. We regularly have 60+ children attend our storytimes. We believe the kids stay engaged and keep coming back due to the variety of material we are able to offer thanks to this grant!

Project: Hibbing “FUN” Library

Feedback from April Larson, Hibbing Public Library

The Hibbing Public Library helps everyone succeed through their mission to provide technology to access the online world, introducing children to a lifetime of reading and learning, and bringing enjoyment into people’s lives. The Hibbing Library was granted with $250.00 to benefit our “FUN” library programming. These purchases benefited our programming throughout the whole library for kids, teens, and adults. It complies with our mission statement that the Hibbing Library introduces children to a lifetime of reading and learning, and bringing enjoyment into people’s lives. Everyone enjoys the STEAM Center, and we have yet to use the Pizza Oven for a program. Thank you Arrowhead Library System for approving this grant for our library.  We are gathering the projected use of the steam kits by asking the kids to let us know their favorite kit and giving them a piece of candy. Then we write down how many children let us know and tally all of them up for the monthly statistics.

Project: VHS Tape to DVD/E-file Conversion

Feedback from Michele Lammi, Iron Range Historical Society

IRHS converted historical films of Iron Range events from VHS tape to DVD and electronic files. The tapes were no longer viewable and deteriorating due to outdated technology. Fifteen tapes were converted and will be available for research and showings at the IRHS Research Library and Archival House. Examples of tape content include: Jingling Brothers Circus in Virginia, C Fortier’s Sawmill in Winton, the Laskiainen Festival of the 1950s, and Will Steger’s Antarctic Expedition.  Having these historical accounts of Iron Range activities and events available in the IRHS Library makes our video collection easily accessible to researchers who can view the content with a DVD player & television or with a computer/laptop. Digitizing the tapes preserves historical content in a more stable format and are more readily available for all future preservation media making this historical content available for generations to come.  The IRHS Board has confidence that these historical documents will be used and requested for years.

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